What is the true state of the country?
Stabroek News
September 5, 2001

Dear Editor,

What is the real state of our economy and what facts do we have to support the answers?

Sugar - that long standing backbone of the Guyanese economy is projecting a loss in 2001. The weather is very unkind to it at this point in time. Will this figure increase? Will the government still keep the Demerara estates in operation in spite of the losses at these locations? If so who will finally pay?

Bauxite - is in major trouble and may not survive much longer. What are the plans for this industry? If the industry does go under, what happens to the communities that were established around them? Whatever happened to the Bermine/ALCOA business that had been making headlines not so long ago?

Rice owes the banking sector over G$16B. Loans that are not being serviced, hence the banking sector is not receiving any returns from that source. Who wants to levy on combines and tractors? Who wants to take over rice mills? What happened to all the revenue generated from the sale of the rice? Where is that money now - lying in accounts overseas?

What is the true state of the timber industry?

What is the true state of the power (electrical) industry? Who was responsible for monitoring the power situation at Linden? Who is monitoring the situation with GPL? If we are paying the management such a huge sum to manage the business, then why is their performance way below satisfactory? The suffering Guyanese are made to pay many times over for their incompetence. (Higher bills but lower salaries/buying power, loss of service, loss of perishables, loss of revenue due to being unable to operate their businesses, loss of expensive equipment which is hard to replace, etc).

Who is responsible for the state of the newly built roads that are already failing?

Who will be left to help carry this country forward when our intellectual capital is taking rapid flight? It really appears as though nothing tangible is being done to keep them here or attract those who may be inclined to return home.

Will we ever have genuine relationships between the two main political parties? It seems as though honesty is something that our politicians never heard of except when it is used for political speeches.

What happened to the investigation into the law volumes production? What was the role of the former minister of Legal Affairs in this matter? Has the PS just been made the sacrificial lamb and the rest of the matter swept under the carpet, hoping that we will forget?

What happened to the revision of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act to allow for stricter penalities? Why can't the insurance industry work with the government and introduce a similar system to that of the USA, so that those persons who have poor driving records are made to pay more while those whose records are good enjoy rewards for their defensive driving? A lot more can and should be done to protect the lives of our road users.

This could continue indefinitely, but I think that the above are sufficient questions (which were put together by a group of us) for now.

Yours faithfully,

Winston Williamson